U.S. Secretary of State reiterates travel warning for Iran amid recent prisoner exchange

U.S. Secretary of State reiterates travel warning for Iran amid recent prisoner exchange

Shafaq News/ On Monday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued a renewed warning to American citizens, cautioning them against traveling to Iran. He further urged any American citizens currently in Iran to leave the country immediately. This advisory comes following a recent exchange deal between the U.S. and Iran involving the release of detainees.

As part of the exchange deal, Iran released five American detainees, and the United States, in turn, released five Iranian prisoners. The agreement also included releasing $6 billion in frozen funds from Tehran.

“Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz, and two other U.S. citizens who wish to remain private have departed Iran and are on their way back to the United States to be reunited with their families. They are joined by two of their relatives, also U.S. citizens, who had been prevented from leaving Iran until Today. Several of these individuals have spent years imprisoned as part of the Iranian regime’s cruel practice of wrongful detention, but today they are all returning home to their loved ones.” Blinken said in a press statemet.

Blinken added that under President Biden’s leadership, “we have now secured the release of more than 30 wrongfully detained Americans around the world.”

The U.S. top official thanked countries who helped make this possible.

“I would like to express our deep appreciation for the indispensable role played by the State of Qatar over the last two years in mediating this arrangement. I extend our sincere thanks to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and senior Qatari officials for their steadfast involvement and assistance in securing the release of U.S. citizens and establishing the Humanitarian Channel in Qatar for Iran to purchase humanitarian goods like food, medicine, medical devices, and agricultural products. The United States also expresses its deep appreciation to the Swiss Confederation for its tireless efforts to represent U.S. consular interests and its long-standing assistance as our protecting power in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In particular, we thank Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis for his personal commitment. We also thank the Republic of Korea for its close coordination and partnership, as well as Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said and the Sultanate of Oman, whose interventions were crucial to finalizing this arrangement, and the United Kingdom for their support.”

Blike highlighted that Bob Levinson remains unaccounted for more than 16 years after his abduction from Kish Island, Iran.

“The Iranian regime has inflicted unimaginable pain on Bob’s family, and they have yet to account for his fate. We once again call upon the Iranian regime to give a full accounting of what happened to Bob Levinson.”

He reiterated the State Department’s “clear warning” to U.S. citizens: “do not travel to Iran,” explaining that “there is no way to guarantee a similar result for other Americans who decide to travel to Iran despite the U.S. government’s longstanding warning against doing so. We continue to work with likeminded countries to deter future hostage-taking and hold Iran and other regimes accountable for such actions, including through actions we are taking today. U.S. citizens should not travel to Iran for any reason, and I call on any U.S. citizens in Iran to depart immediately.”

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